Encompassing the vast majority of Cumberland Island, this 36,347-acre preserve has pristine forests and marshes marbled with wooded nature trails, 18 mi of undeveloped beaches, and opportunities for fishing, bird-watching, and viewing the ruins of Thomas Carnegie's great estate, Dungeness. You can also join history and nature walks led by Park Service rangers. Bear in mind that summers are hot and humid and that you must bring everything you need, including your
own food, soft drinks, sunscreen, and insect repellent. The only public access to the island is via the Cumberland Queen II ferry.
Mar 31, 2007
I am going back to Cumberland Island next week and can't wait. I have travelled extensively and CI is one of the most unique places on earth. It used to be one of the best kept secrets and folks who knew about it kept it to themselves, that changed with the Kennedy wedding. To visit now you should book well in advance - it is frustrating to find bookings but well worth it when you realize they limited access makes it what it is. One suggestion
to really enhace your trip - do some web reasearch and bone up on the history of Cumberland before you go - from the original Indian Settlements, Spanish settlements, Englisth settlements, through the Carnegies and the Candlers. The island has a somewhat tragic history where island paradise dreams gave way to harsher realities. I found it to be reflective of the island in general, magnificent and beautiful but somewhat hautingly lonely as well with the live oaks, spanish moss, and wide beaches in contrast to the abandoned structures and cars.
Oct 16, 2006
Cumberland Island is like no place I've ever visited anywhere in the world. The sight of wild horses roaming among the dunes on a beach with no condos, hotels or hoards of sunbathers is amazing, as is the interior of the island with it's unbelieveably green tangle of twisted live oaks and palmetto. Add to that the ruins of Dungeness, the old millionaire's estate and the other historical structures on the island, and you have a bit of paradise rarely
seen, especially in this overdeveloped country of ours (the US). Thankfully, the experience is only enhanced by the limited number of visitors allowed on the island at any one time. On my last visit, I took two of my sisters, my nieces and a friend for a short day trip, and we saw armadillos at our feet, a family of feral pigs (with a pearl-string of tiny piglets in tow), a deer that didn't seem to care we were only a few yards away, and a wild mare nuzzling her colt in the sea oats. A magical place.